Helloooo! Please excuse the somewhat ridiculous title -- I swear it's for a good reason. I am not one to throw the suffix "-gasm" around lightly, you know.
So last night, I had the wonderful opportunity... no, PRIVILEGE... of hearing Kathryn Rose, Melanie Doane, and the incredible Emilie-Claire Barlow in concert. 3 amazing voices in one beautiful room. Wild!
Kathryn Rose is self described as a chanteuse of "theatrical pop". I'm not really sure what that means, but I DO know that she's got this beautiful, full voice that could lend itself sucessfully to pretty much any genre. Kathryn's style (she writes her own material) is like that of a less-hard Holly McNarland. Her voice is a lot less reedy than McNarland's though... much warmer and breathier.
Listening to her songs on iTunes, she reminds me a lot of Sheryl Crow, although this didn't strike me as such during the show. I think she sounds even better in person -- if you're in the area and get the chance to catch her live, I'd recommend it. She sang backup for Sarah McLaughlin's world-wide Afterglow tour, which should tell you that this lady has some serious pipes. Plus, she's just got this sultry gorgeousness about her -- after having a baby not one year ago, no less! Wow. Her husband is one lucky man. (And he's kind of hot, for an older guy. Don't tell my boyfriend.)
You guys remember Melanie Doane, right? She hit it big a few* years ago with her songs "Goliath" and "Adam's Rib", and won a Juno (aka: Canadian Grammys) for her efforts. Her style is rocky- folksy- pop, with a dash of country and an infectious foot-tapping beat. She had a bit of follow-up sucess with "Wilma or a Betty Man" in 2003, but she's been mostly taking some time off, having kids, writing, and all that wonderful stuff.
Well, lemme tell ya: she sure hasn't faded in her years away from the spotlight. I forgot how much I liked her -- I think it's fair to say that Ms. Doane rocked the house. She had some old material, previewed a catchy new tune, and then tore an electric fiddle apart. There's the ol' Maritime spirit for ya. You just can't say no to a lady who is bringing down the room with an electric fiddle. You can try, but you will fail, and then you'll want to jig. It's awesome. (Also, her guitarist is kinda hot. Don't tell my boyfriend.)**
Ahh, and there was Emilie-Claire Barlow, of course. Even with a smaller-than-usual band, she delivered an exceptional performance as always. My favourite number was probably "Little Jack Frost", off of her new Christmas album, Winter Wonderland. Which, might I say, I now own. AND it's autographed. AND I shook her hand, AND chatted with her briefly after the show. Whoo!
ANYway, "Little Jack Frost" was especially great because of the swingin' vocalese*** that Emilie-Claire had written for it. It was crisp, clear, and dizzingly good. I don't know how she does it; it's indescribable. You have to listen to the CD to fully appreciate it. Finally, I'd just like to mention that Emilie changed outfits for all 3 sets, which is something that I totally would have done (um, if I could sing and had gigs, I mean). It's about mood people -- she's a lady after my own heart!
And as if all that weren't enough, we then got treated to a set of songs performed by all three singers. Not only was it super cool to hear Emilie-Claire do some non-jazz stuff (the bluesy-song, especially! Hurray for more blues on the next album, Em!), it was astounding to hear how well the 3 voices blended together, especially considering how strong they are individually. Just... wow.
What a fantastic, fantastic show. I'm so glad I got the chance to go. The crowd was great too, really enthusiastic. I may have literally shoved my iPod into the hands of the nice ladies sitting next to me, in an effort to convince them to buy some of Emilie-Claire's CDs. In my defense, I think it worked, and I know they'll enjoy their purchases.
Ok then, it's off to bed for me. All concerts and no sleep make G a bad candidate for getting any work done. Stay tuned in the upcoming days for some talk about a bunch of concealers -- on the cutting board will be the much sought after Eraser by Tarte. Pass? Fail? Wait and see!
All pictures courtesy of Greg King, photographer extraordinaire!
* oh God... like, 8 years ago now! I'm old!
** Yes, I'd been drinking that night. How'd you know?
*** Ok, so technically, it wasn't a vocalese, because she wrote over a vocal solo, as opposed to an instrumental solo. She called it an "Emilese". Emilese is gonna be HUGE in Japan, just you wait.